Philosophical and Cultural Theories of Music


Music is a ubiquitous and hard to grasp cultural form. It is semiotically and aesthetically open-ended; yet even a 'non-musical' person is able to follow the basics of rhythmic structure and flow. Its presence in social and cultural life is further complicated by its multiple forms of existence - as both 'live' and 'technologically mediated', as self-referential language and as accompaniment to text, dance and other cultural expressions. This collection brings together philosophers, sociologists, musicologists and students of culture who theorize the multiple roles of music through cultural practices as diverse as opera and classical music, jazz and pop, avant-garde and DIY musical cultures, music festivals and isolated listening through the iPod, rock in urban heritage and the piano in contemporary Asian societies.

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Eduardo De La Fuente, Ph.D (1999) in Humanities, Griffith University, is Lecturer in the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, Monash University. He has published widely on the sociology of art and cultural sociology, including Twentieth Century Music and the Question of Modernity (Routledge, 2010).

Peter Murphy is Associate Professor of Communications and Director of the Social Aesthetics Research Unit, Monash University. He is co-author with Simon Marginson and Michael Peters of Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy (Peter Lang, 2009), Global Creation (Peter Lang, 2010) and Imagination (Peter Lang, 2010). Murphy’s other recent books include Dialectic of Romanticism: A Critique of Modernism with David Roberts (Continuum, 2004) and Civic Justice (Prometheus/Humanity Books, 2001).
Volume Foreword
1. ‘Introduction: Philosophical and Cultural Theories of Music’
Eduardo De La Fuente and Peter Murphy
2. ‘Modern Hermeneutics and the Presentation of Opera’
Agnes Heller
3. ‘Algo-Rhythm and Mello-dy: A Consideration of the Relationship Between
Technology and the Embodied Performance of Music
Daniel Black
4. ‘Bob Dylan Ain’t Talking: One Man’s Vast Comic Adventure in American
Music, Dramaturgy, and Mysticism’
Peter Murphy
5. ‘Music and Religion: Reflections on Cultural Secularization’
David Roberts
6. ‘Prophet and Priest, Ascetic and Mystic: Towards a cultural sociology of the
twentieth century composer’
Eduardo De La Fuente
7. ‘Collective Effervescence, Numinous Experience or Proto-Religious
Phenomena? Moshing with Durkheim, Schleiermacher and Otto’
Mark Jennings
8. ‘Music as a Space of Possibilities’
John Rundell
9. ‘Some Suggestions for a Phenomenology of Rhythm’
Stuart Grant
10. ‘The Paradox of “Do-it-Yourself” in Unpopular Music’
Joseph Borlagdan
11. ‘Musical Culturespeak and Cosmopolitan Identities in Australian Multiculturalism’
Graeme Smith
12. ‘The Piano and Cultural Modernity in East Asia’
Alison Tokita
13. ‘Popular Music, Cultural Memory and Everyday Aesthetics’
Andy Bennett
14. ‘"Everything is dirt": Reevaluating the Place of Cultural Status in Producing Aesthetic Attachment
Claudio Benzecry
15. ‘Musical Listening and Boundary-Work’
Michael Walsh
Author details
All those interested in philosophy and social theory of music, the cultural study of opera, classical music, jazz, rock, music festivals, music and technology.